Nah, Spinal Tap needs it more. I will focus my awesome powers of persuasion elsewhere.
I mean the following in the nicest way possible.
Rock Band ruined video games for me.
I used to play the crap out of every game I bought. Then Rock Band came along. Ever since its release, I've only played through, to completion, about 30% of the new games I buy. Every time I have a new game, I enjoy it, then either decide to take a break and play RB, or tuesday/thursday rolls around, and I put in RB to get new DLC. Once that happens, the RB disc doesn't leave my system, and the new games inevitably gets pushed to the wayside.
Harmonix, take note: This absolutely sucks, and I love you for it.
So many great memories and hopefully many many more to come, one of my favorites is
May of 2008 my buddy and I get this crazy idea to host a rockband night at one of our local bars that has a stage, coincidently that our company had supplied all the lumber for so we had our in. So I get on the #1 ranked RB forums and post what we were thinking about doing, before I knew it we had people from as far away as Denver and Parker Co(about 60 miles) thinking there going to come to the show. We ended up packing the house with rockers and ended up launching somewhat of a career for one of your forum goers and fellow rockers yrdaddy. He ended up launching rockband nights at bars all over the Denver area just about every night of the week for years and may very well still be doing it. We made the trip to Denver for one of his RB nights and it was awesome he had really streamlined the process and made it a very enjoyable experience. I still love to go back to the DVD's of that night and watch everybody, we had an absolute blast and new that we were in for quite the ride.
Most of us still play and we host the RB nights at my place now(awesome venue we have here) and are actually planning another rockband night in the near future before Christmas.
I can tell you the one thing that everyone has enjoyed the most is the triple vocals, even if there isnt harmonies people love to sing with each other through the entire catalog of songs. Making it so 7 people could play was genius and has really helped me be able to keep RB nights going, hopefully for years to come. Keep bringing the great DLC and thanks for the Memories.
I have a huge post about this in last year's anniversary thread, so I'll just link to that instead of repeat myself.
The only thing I'd like to add to that is that Rock Band Fever is moving on to a new generation, because even though my oldest daughter is still a bit too young at two to actually play herself, she has come to really enjoy watching her folks play Rock Band games, and will regularly request to watch the 'game with the pretty colors' (Blitz) or 'the Princess game' (RB3). The reason why she calls RB3 that is because she's decided that one of the bandmates looks like a princess, and I kind of regret showing her that you can switch clothing for characters, since I end up doing that after just about every song I play now when she's watching. She also spends a lot of time dancing along or 'playing' along with a broken old GH guitar that I gave her. Just a few more years until she can movie on to the 'real' thing. :)
So let's go chronologically.
Before college, I had no real interest in music, since I never really liked the radio and I can't sing (and all my interaction with music was singing). And I was a bit too busy being different to worry about music. Though, by freshman year I was at least getting interested in various Konami rhythm games and homebrew offshoots of the same. I was getting exposed to some interesting (or 'interesting') stuff. But when it came to music as a whole, honestly, I knew nothing.
Sophomore year, I was lucky enough to move somewhere that had space right as the first Rock Band was coming out. That was my time to make the jump- got an XBox, got the whole kit and kaboodle. I leaned towards drums. I started learning them and learning what rock music really could be. And I rapidly found that, in terms of playing instruments, I knew nothing. I remember being rather nonplussed that one of my favorite bands, R.E.M., had an Expert drum part (in Orange Crush) that was so dreadfully awkward and unplayable and generally ruined. Until I learned of the disco flip.
Third year, 2008-2009. I finally have a good enough feeling with Rock Band 1 for Rock Band 2 to come about. So it was nice, having just conquered Don't Fear the Reaper, for Painkiller and Panic Attack and Visions (oh Visions!) to knock me down a notch. Also knocking me down- the $500 real acoustic drum set I purchased. Sure, I was a decent Expert drums player in Rock Band, but on the real deal, I knew nothing.
Fourth year (college was a five-year program, I didn't flunk or anything). 2009-2010. Sure, Beatles happened, but more importantly I opened Fairwood Studios. Mostly on a whim. I had gone from having no music my parents didn't know to a healthy collection of indie stuff, and I wanted to help share it with the world. But it turned out, as far as audio engineering goes, I knew nothing. The first few Fairwood releases are, frankly, terrible. The fact that those groups stuck with me, and that I developed real friendships from that one whim, is both baffling and endearing.
Senior year, 2010-2011. Rock Band 3 foreshadowed some of the RBN challenges on the way, but the more interesting challenge came from starting a real band with friends. We played campus events, an open mic or two, and had plenty of lineup changes. I had my fair share of ideas, but working with other musicians... yep, I knew nothing. But, neither did the frontman, so things fell apart. A lesson worth learning and an experience I hope to retry, with success, sooner than later.
So now I've graduated, I'm an adult, and like any newly-christened adult I know nothing. About anything. Even if, looking back, I am much more knowledgeable about everything I didn't know before. And of course, it's not only Rock Band that made me grow and change over the years. It probably wasn't even the biggest factor. I did get a degree in Software Engineering, I traveled, and I came to understand myself much better- on that, I'll just say that backing Laura Jane Grace on "Stop!" has become a sort of sublime encouragement for my own aims as a musician.
But at the end of it all, I can't deny the extent to which a silly rhythm game from some silly Bostonians helped me grow from a dull, listless geek boy to the quirky hipster chick I've always needed to be. So while I still don't know anything, I know that Rock Band helped me be who I wanted to be, who I sometimes feared I never could be. And that's a hell of a thing for a video game to do.
I had seen the commercials on TV for GH, but never really paid too much attention to the game. Then one day a friend came to stay with me and brought RB2 with him. We played all night and went out the next day and bought the full RB2 kit.
I picked the guitar up pretty quickly and was playing on hard within the first couple of songs we played. But when I moved to the drums, it was an entirely different story!
I looked like a monkey smacking 2 sticks on a tree trunk. I think I tossed the stick across the room like 10 times on 1 song (I may have been a little drunk too). I remember thinking to myself that I would never be able to play the drums, and why didn't they have keys (ironic). Now, I have a full ION set with 2x bass (although I'm not very good at 2x bass songs). I think I have around 50 gold stars and a couple hundred 5 stars.
My best purchase would have to be my Fender Wooden Strat. It elevated my game to an entirely new level and really enhanced the overall experience. I believe I just passed 200 gold stared songs and have several hundred 5 star.
I am getting close to 900 songs now, which I know is a lot less then some of you have, but most of them are songs I really like. I have a few of songs I've played over 100 times, all DLC.
I'm truly addicted to this game. I play every Friday night from around 7pm to 2 or 3am, and have for almost 2 yrs now. And many Sat nights as well. I look forward to Friday mornings so I can see what is coming out next like a child at XMas.
Thanxs HMX. While I may never be in a real band playing a real instrument, I can still hold me head high and bang it with the best in the RB crowd!
I, twice in fact, received free codes for the pack that's apparently the greatest human invention since toilet paper. I gave them both away, because that's how little I wanted it.
Like all stories, I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning.
My introduction to Rock Band came before Rock Band was ever a thing. In the fall 2006, I was in my Freshman year of college. I was living in the dorms and was introduced to a little video game for the PS2 called “Guitar Hero II” by a group of people in the common room. I had never heard of it, but it looked like fun. Using a plastic guitar to jam out to classic rock songs? That’s awesome! I asked if I could try it out and the people playing said sure, the more the merrier.
So, I took the plastic axe, selected a song (I seriously don’t remember what song it was) and played on Easy. It was fun, but it was a little too easy. That’s when I found out about Medium and getting to use the pinkie finger. This was just right for me.
Guitar Hero sessions became a regular thing in the common area. I vividly remember one night of dueling play where I played “Freebird” three times in a row against opponents. My fingers were so damn sore and eventually the song was banned from play.
Fast forward to Christmas. I end up getting a Guitar Hero II bundle and a standalone copy of Guitar Hero as a gift from my parents after I had told them about playing this awesome game for the Playstation 2. Skip ahead to my birthday four months later and I end up with a Guitar Hero II bundle for the XBOX 360. GHII sustained me for a while and I eventually worked up to the Hard and Expert difficulties.
The next autumn, I hear from one of my GH buddies that there’s going to be a new game called Rock Band and it’s like GH but it includes drum, bass and vocals. Come to Christmas and I was gifted a Rock Band bundle. The first thing I tried out on the game was the drums because they were the newest thing to me. I soon found out that I really don’t have the hand/foot coordination for drumming. Fun fact: I still have a working set of RB1 drums. They didn’t (and still don’t) get played much.
Now’s the part of the story that gets semi-personal, so here goes.
2008 is a year that will stand out in my mind. So I’m going to take things chronologically.
First, I was buying a lot of DLC for Rock Band and I picked up a little song for the game called “Hysteria” by a British band called Muse, but more on how that comes into play later.
Second, September 2008 saw the release of Rock Band 2. Being a fan of the first game, I went out on release day, purchased a standalone copy of the game and the first song I played on the game was a vox-tar rendition of “Eye of the Tiger”.
Third, the last thing, but actually the most important to my life, my mother passed away in November. I took it really hard and at 20 years old I fell into a deep depression that I’m still combating 4 years later. However, there was a light in the darkness and that was the escapism offered by playing Rock Band. The game allowed me to vent the feelings of rage and sadness through singing the songs and playing the plastic guitar. Connecting to the music the way the Rock Band experience allows a player to do allowed me to take my mind off things I didn’t want to face. Playing the game has helped a lot in the course of my healing process and still helps at times when I’m feeling down emotionally to this day.
Now remember me mentioning Muse earlier? Here’s where they get relevant to the story. During the time at the start of my depression I was still in college but had roommates that tried their best to help. The main thing that sticks out is that two of my roommates would play music while doing homework or whatever on their computers and I remember hearing these songs that I thought were damn awesome. I asked them what the songs were and who they were by. The answer was Muse and my first thought was “they’re on Rock Band. They have a song called ‘Hysteria’. They’re good.” So, I end up checking out this band’s catalog. The music and emotions in the songs that I found helped me to cope and deal with some of the emotional issues I was feeling at the time. I feel that Harmonix, through the venue of Rock Band, indirectly introduced me to a group that would soon become my favorite band after searching out more of their music. This searching ended up creating a part of the monster that keeps hoping for more of the band's songs in the game week in and week out.
I suppose I should finish this story before it gets any longer, but there is one thing I need to mention. These forums. Being a member of these forums for the past four years has been quite interesting. At one point, I think I was addicted to these forums. Through these forums I have been able to have conversations with people that I’ll likely never meet, but I’m thankful to them for the role they have played in my life.
The majority come from the General section (now named Less Rokk, More Talk) and there are too many names to name, but they know who they are. Having a place to vent about the crap I was dealing with helped a lot and having people to listen that didn’t know me personally or judge me for what I was feeling/saying/thinking helped immensely. Some of them have since left the forums, but if those who are still here read this: “Thank you for listening to all my emotional b.s.”
So, I guess this is the end for now. I could go on about The Beatles game and how it made me cry tears of joy. How the LEGO game made me laugh. How the Green Day game allowed me to slightly appreciate a local band better. How Rock Band 3 has made me simultaneously happy and sad.
But that’s another story for another time.
- RockBandRocker (censored out as ************er on the best April Fool’s day ever)